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Factors Contributing to Blood Sugar Imbalances_Final

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>> Well, hello again. In this lecture, we'll continue our conversation on blood sugar and its impact on hormonal health. Specifically, we're going to talk about the seven main contributors to blood sugar imbalances and insulin resistance. Let's get right to it. Insulin resistance is alarming, but it's a very treatable condition that doesn't have to turn in to type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Your clients have much more control over their health destiny than they may realize. Teaching them this is the greatest gift you can give them. By making some simple changes to their food and lifestyle, under your guidance, they can regulate their blood sugar, which will lead to a much better quality of life. As I mentioned, there are seven major factors that contribute to insulin resistance. And they are obesity, diet, inflammation, stress, lack of sleep, toxins, and the wrong kind of exercise. Let's explore each of these factors in detail. Obesity, especially abdominal fat, plays a major role in blood sugar balance. Our genes are naturally designed to survive starvation. They're not meant to deal with overnutrition, which can throw our system into insulin resistance. Our bodies are made to store energy so that it can be used in times of famine. This is how our ancestors survived. It's only in the last 100 years that food has become so readily available to us. There is a highly controlled system that keeps the energy stores accessible to the body when needed. It doesn't know what to do when it's constantly storing and never needing the reserves. This actually creates a stress state in the body. Fat in the body isn't just sitting there taking up space and making it difficult to zip your favorite skinny jeans. It actually plays a huge role in metabolism while it's an excellent storage place for extra energy. It's also hormonally active helping to manage blood sugar, growth, blood cell production, and appetite. It even has the ability to produce both anti-inflammatory and inflammatory proteins, particularly when broken down. In short, the fatty tissue also called adipose tissue is an important endocrine organ. I know it's hard to believe that our body fat actually plays an important role. However, when there is a constant flow of too much food coming into the system at once, the fat storage system becomes overly active, and it starts releasing inflammatory proteins. And this is when fat starts to become problematic. These inflammatory proteins have been shown to increase insulin resistance. The fat inside the abdomen, around the organs is called visceral fat and is the most metabolically active fat. The fat around the heart is similar. This is why so-called central obesity, where the fat is around the organs rather than the extremities, is the most dangerous, resulting in increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, as well as hormonal imbalances such as PCOS and adrenal disorders. Even people who appear thin can have high levels of visceral fat. One way to know is by measuring the waist to hip ratio. In women, this should be less than 0.8 for optimal health. This isn't a perfect method, of course. So it's important to consider other factors such as body fat percentage and fat distribution. The so-called pear shape, where the body fat is in the hips and thighs, is generally healthier than the apple shape, where the body fat is concentrated in the abdominal area. The best way to help your clients fight the spread of visceral fat is to encourage them to crowd out carbohydrates and sugars in their diet with healthy fats and good quality proteins. On that note, the next and probably most important factor to consider in the fight against insulin resistance is diet. There is a lot of disagreement in the nutrition world about whether it's more beneficial to fast between meals or eat often throughout the day. For stable blood sugar, research is starting to show that intermittent fasting is better for our health, especially for your clients who are grazers and like to snack and nibble throughout the day. Encourage them to at least take a long break from eating between dinner and breakfast. Ideally, this break should be at least 10 hours to give the system a chance to rebalance itself. That midnight snack may be the difference between normal blood sugar and insulin resistance. In the past, diabetics were encouraged to eat three meals and at least two snacks per day to maintain steady blood sugar. But we're now finding that three meals with a good balance of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, and no snacks at all is a best way to maintain blood sugar. Ideally, there should be three to four-hour breaks between eating during the day. Your clients may not be wiling or ready to give up their snacks. Your job as their coach is to support them at their own pace. So if this is the case, you can recommend that they eat protein or fat with their snack and keep the carbs below 15 grams. A good snack might be half an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter or three tablespoons of pumpkin seeds with a little dried fruit. For clients on insulin, it'll take some work, with their doctor, to be able to eliminate snacks. It's very important to understand that they shouldn't do this cold turkey because they'll need to slowly adjust their insulin levels down, with their doctor's guidance, to be able to maintain their blood sugar without bottoming out. I just want to take a moment here to remind you that, as a Health Coach, you should not be diagnosing your clients with any condition at any time. When it comes to serious conditions like diabetes and PCOS, you must always refer your clients to a trained medical professional, who can do proper testing and make a correct diagnosis. Once your client is diagnosed, you can work in conjunction with his or her other practitioners to deliver the most comprehensive care possible. Inflammation is the third factor that contributes to insulin resistance in the body. There are two ways that inflammation affects insulin resistance. Chronic inflammation in the fatty tissue and chronic inflammation related to disordered gut bacteria. The inflammation associated with insulin resistance isn't acute like you would see with an infection but a low grade chronic inflammation. If nothing is done to change it, it can sustain itself without much effort and continue to drive both blood sugar and insulin levels higher and higher. Most of this chronic inflammation is in the fatty tissue and is related to obesity, especially abdominal obesity. The cells released from the fat have a direct impact on insulin, keeping the insulin from doing its job of emptying the blood stream of sugar and getting it into the cells that needed. The gut microbiome also plays a role in blood sugar balance. When properly balanced, these little bugs help maintain normal weight and appetite. The Standard American Diet is very poor in maintaining good bacteria and tends to allow overgrowth of the inflammatory bacteria. When the bacteria get out of balance, your clients may develop leaky gut syndrome. This is a condition where small spaces develop in the intestinal wall that allow toxins from food directly into the bloodstream. Overgrowth of the wrong bacteria and leaky gut can cause obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver, which is a serious condition related to metabolic syndrome. Leaky gut also causes the fatty tissue to break down, which contributes to the chronic inflammation we just talked about. As you can see, dysregulated blood sugar can kick off a vicious cycle of sugar cravings, gut bacteria imbalances, inflammation, and weight gain. This is why it's crucial to look at blood sugar balancing as a first step in addressing your client's hormonal health concerns. Stress is the fourth factor that has a direct impact on insulin sensitivity. Ah! Stress. It's a culprit in everything these days. Stress negatively affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, also known as HPA axis, increasing the amount of cortisol that's released into the system. This increased cortisol has a direct influence on insulin, as well as on the fat cells. When there's too much insulin, the body produces more cortisol, which causes more insulin resistance and more insulin production, which then gets cortisol even more revved up. It's a pretty vicious cycle. When cortisol is high, which happens when we're stressed, the fatty tissue releases inflammatory proteins. These inflammatory proteins then make the skeletal, muscle, and liver cells less sensitive to insulin. Higher levels of cortisol also stimulate appetite. This can cause central fat, particularly abdominal fat to increase over time, which has been shown to contribute to insulin resistance as well. Interestingly, depression appears to worsen insulin resistance. This is even more true when depression is combined with increased abdominal fat. So for your clients, it's equally as important for them to manage their stress as it is for them to manage their diet. I often find that clients are more willing to adjust what they eat than they are to adjust what's eating them. But remember, as their Health Coach, you should be supporting them with both primary and secondary foods. It can be really beneficial to teach them self-care and stress management techniques like meditation, guided imagery, and how to develop a healthy morning routine so they can truly begin to take charge of their own healing. Encourage them to open up about what's bothering them so they can get to the bottom of it. Self-development can go a long way towards improving hormonal health. Next, we have sleep, which is critical to good blood sugar management. As you know sleep is crucial to good health. While we sleep, our body repairs all the damage it has been done during the day. Too little sleep can increase your risk of heart disease, disrupt your appetite, and interfere with fertility. It also affects blood sugar management. In one study, as little as 4 days of sleeping less than 5 hours per night increased insulin resistance by 30% in healthy individuals. That is a huge deal because so many people are chronically sleep-deprived. Is this something that you struggle with? Sleep deficiency also contributes to obesity in both adults and children. Multiple studies showed that sleeping less than five hours per night significantly increased body weight. For every hour less than eight hours of sleep, the expected difference in weight compared to an adult who got eight hours was about three pounds. Science hasn't yet figured out exactly how this all works, but it does appear that, one, lack of sleep increases appetite and, two, it contributes to higher levels of inflammation in the body. So burning the candle at both ends, as many busy women do, is contributing to both weight gain and poor sugar balance. Those short nights are packing on an extra three to six pounds and throwing their hormones into chaos. If you have a client who isn't getting enough sleep, encourage her to think about creating a bedtime wind down routine so that she can prepare herself each evening for better quality sleep. Toxins are the sixth factor that affect insulin sensitivity. These include plastic derivatives such as bisphenol A, as well as pesticides, nitrides, mercury, cadmium, flame retardants, and polychlorinated biphenyls. Many of these have a direct impact on the beta cells in the pancreas which are responsible for producing insulin. Well, some of these are now banned. They're still very present in our environment. It's best to avoid these toxins as much as possible. But for most people, it isn't possible to avoid them completely. Ways for your clients to avoid or reduce environmental toxins include eating a clean organic diet, avoiding smoked meat products, especially those with nitrites, eliminating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tile fish, switching to "green" cleaning products, drinking filtered or reverse-osmosis water, not consuming anything in plastic-lined cans or plastic containers, using reusable bags instead of plastic bags, and avoiding BPA-coated receipts, avoiding clothing, furniture, and rugs that have been treated with flame retardants, using organic cotton or bamboo sheets, towels, and other textiles, and showering with a filter that removes chlorine and other contaminants. And finally, we have exercise, which can be your friend, and surprisingly, your enemy. Exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity both directly and through weight loss. In fact, exercising in short intense bursts with breaks in between called high-intensity interval training or HIIT helps to consume excess sugar and improve insulin regulation. And listen up, yogis, although the jury is still out, it appears that yoga is also beneficial for blood sugar management, and it's been shown to decrease both stress and obesity in diabetics. Resistance training such as weight lifting also has great benefits for insulin sensitivity. In moderation, working against resistance helps to remove fat from the muscle, allowing the muscle cells to take up glucose better. Resistance training and HIIT can be combined for a one-two punch against insulin resistance. It might seem counterintuitive, but intense exercise, for example, marathon training or body building actually has a negative impact on insulin resistance. Two things happen with intense exercise. One, cortisol levels rise and, two, energy levels bottom out. These two things drive the body into survival mode. You would think this would mean that the body releases energy from its stores, and initially, that does happen but then the body worries that it may not have enough energy to function and actually increases the stores, especially in visceral fat. It also increases cravings for carbohydrates. All of these results in the release of inflammatory proteins from the fatty tissue, which as you now know, causes insulin resistance. Have you ever had a client who's running marathons or doing a spin class every day and wondering why the heck she isn't losing weight? The intense exercise is likely pushing her body into survival mode which makes it impossible to lose weight. Survival mode increases insulin resistance, which then has long-term effects on the thyroid, adrenals, gut, ovaries, and brain. For your clients who are exercising intensely and not seeing the improvements they desire in their body fat and hormone balance, talk to them about ramping down their duration. HIIT training or another similar high-intensity, short-duration training called Tabata, could get them the results you're both looking for. And don't forget to encourage them to try yoga for its stress-bursting benefits. Okay, that wraps up this lecture on the seven factors that contribute to blood sugar dysregulation and ultimately, insulin resistance. To recap, we covered obesity, diet, inflammation, stress, lack of sleep, toxins, and the wrong kind of exercise, as the main contributors to insulin resistance. We'd love for you to visit the Facebook group and join the conversation about blood sugar and insulin resistance. How are you doing in terms of the seven factors that influence blood sugar imbalance? What are you doing that's positive and what could you use to tune up? Let us know in the Facebook group. Thanks so much for watching, and I'll see you in the next lecture.

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Duration: 15 minutes and 48 seconds
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Language: English
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Views: 6
Posted by: ninaz on Mar 25, 2018

Factors Contributing to Blood Sugar Imbalances_Final

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